I imagine a day when suggesting a California Merlot will not require a reference to the film “Sideways”, and the subsequent vilified status of the innocent grape. Alas, Hollywood has had a definite impact; and for good or bad, CA Merlot has been on a mission to prove itself worthy to its French Bordeaux counterparts ever since (which happen to account for some of the most expensive wines in the world). Admittedly, there was a certain time-period where CA Merlot became a homogenous “easy drinker”, coaxed by high alcohol, manipulative amounts of oak, and imperceptible acid. Fair enough. However, don’t blame nor overlook this smooth, luscious grape. When treated properly, CA Merlot is truly a world class wine. Stray from the pack, and confuse your family and friends with a bottle of Merlot-you wine rebel you.
Duckhorn Vineyards, “Rector Creek Vineyard”, 2012, Merlot, Napa Valley
A definite CA Merlot classic. Layers of red fruit, licorice and wet stone.
For the last nine-plus years, I have been pursuing my passion/obsession for wine. Starting in Southern CA, I learned the basics of regions, varietals, and tasting techniques while serving as Marketing & Sales Manager for Winestyles locations. Following my pursuit for higher wine education, I relocated to the Bay Area in 2010 where I worked in various glamorous capacities including “slinging wine” behind the bar, and “warehouse rat” in Sonoma. I worked and studied my way to Director of Wine Events, coordinating events and tastings with local Napa and Sonoma wineries. I last served as Director of Wine managing a 48 wine by the glass tasting menu, in addition to cultivating an international bottle program. I am proudly WSET Level II Certified, and am currently continuing my pursuit of higher wine education.
I drink when I have occasion, and sometimes when I have no occasion.